|Thursday, Sep 10, 2009|
Chickasaw National Recreation Area will be featured on a quarter-dollar produced by the U.S. Mint in 2011. It will be the tenth of 56 quarters issued in the recently announced America the Beautiful Quarters program. Approximately every ten weeks, starting in April of 2010, a new quarter depicting a national park or other federally preserved area will be released.
“The coin presents an excellent opportunity to shine light on the park as one of the oldest national park areas in the United States, and our role in protecting the region’s water resources, as well as providing a safe place for millions of Americans to relax and enjoy the natural environment,” said Superintendent Bruce Noble. Shelly Sawatzky, Executive Director of the Sulphur Chamber of Commerce said, “We are proud of the selection of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area to represent Oklahoma, and welcome the opportunity for more Americans to discover this often over-looked gem which has drawn generations of families.”
Established in 1902 as the Sulphur Springs Reservation, the land for the park was purchased from the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations to ensure free access to the freshwater and mineral springs located here; making it the first and only national park established at an Indian Tribe’s request. In 1906, the reservation became the nation’s seventh national park, Platt National Park. For seventy years, Platt was the nation’s smallest National Park, yet drew visitors by the thousands. In 1976 Platt National Park was combined with the Arbuckle Recreation Area to create Chickasaw National Recreation Area. The name of the park honors the vision of the Chickasaw Nation in acting to preserve the resources found here.
Congress authorized the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 to celebrate the nation’s legacy of conservation. The legislation recalls noteworthy steps in the nation’s preservation movement and quotes Theodore Roosevelt who said that nothing short of defending this country in wartime “compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendents than it is for us.”
The legislation directs the Mint to strike and issue 56 circulating quarter-dollars with reverse (tails side) designs showcasing a national park or other national site in each state, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories — Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands. The quarters will be issued sequentially each year, in the order in which the featured area was first established as a national park or site.
The coins will feature 48 National Park Service areas, two U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service refuges, and six U.S. Forest Service sites. The Mint worked in consultation with each jurisdiction’s governor or chief executive as well as Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to select the sites. The list was also approved by Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner.
In addition to the coins for circulation, the Mint will produce collectable items including proof sets, silver proof sets, a five ounce silver bullion coin, coin bags, and coin rolls for each quarter. For more information about the America the Beautiful Quarters Program, please visit http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/NSQuartersProgram/index.cfm.